Oak Hill Middle Schoolers experience ‘Real Life’

OAK HILL (WOAY) – Oak Hill Middle School seventh and eighth-graders got a taste of real life with the Get a Life program.

It teaches them the importance of budgeting and planning for their post-secondary education (certification, technical program or college).


Regional treasury representative Debi Lockharte likes to include credit cards at the end of the presentation to get the students thinking about how that contributes to debt and how to live within your means.

“They had two ‘lives’ — one they are pretty much poverty-stricken and minimum wage and that’s our goal, to get them thinking about,” said Lockharte. “And then their second life they have achieved some sort of post-secondary education and a much higher monthly budget to live on.”

What impacted this eighth-grader the most was his ‘second’ life as an ‘attorney.’

“I had to get house insurance, dental, health insurance, so on and so on,” Keelen Treadway said. “The best thing about this was that I learned how insurance worked, how it works in the real world.”

According to Lockharte, the program is impactful and she would like to see it as part of a school curriculum. She says kids today think if the debit card’s there, there’s money. And they don’t like being broke in their first life.

“We only had two students that actually finished — one had $1.55 in their first life left. But that’s some excellent budgeting,” said the regional treasury rep. “They go through all of the stations: they’re buying a house, car, furniture, paying their utilities, buying groceries, they have the option of getting health insurance so they do have to visit the doctor and realize how important that is.”

Each student is assigned a different family circumstance. It gets them thinking about what can play out and how to prepare.

The simulation taught Treadway that it takes a lot to be a grownup.

“I just hope that as I enter into adulthood it will go smoothly,” he said there are many things to consider.

“Us middle-schoolers in eighth grade at the moment we have to be ready no matter what.”


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